Father and Sun

*Promo only–Not A Review

This is a book promo only. I haven’t read it, but check out the book trailer! It looks good. Links to buy are below.

Father&Sun

Welcome to the blog tour for Father & Sun by Ross Victory! Read on for more details! FrontFather & Sun Publication Date: December 20th, 2020 Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Some say family is everything. Some say family are just people we’re assigned to at birth.

Trey Amana, a forty-something, hardworking father of two, discovered his dad’s death five years ago on the day after Christmas. Although Trey has grieved and prioritized his health, holiday music and decorations trigger painful memories. To take the final step toward healing the loss while saving extra cash for his holiday-obsessed kids, Trey decides to close his late father’s storage unit once and for all.

Trey discovers a journal written during his father’s college years. His dad, Art, reveals an outrageous family secret driving Trey into a wormhole of suspicions. With family members en-route to Trey’s home, Trey is burdened by the need for answers while somehow producing a hospitable Christmas.

Father & Sun explores how secrets and well-meaning motivations from the past can have a counteractive generational impact.

Father & Sun contemplates life in the shadows or life standing on the Sun (owning one’s truth), speaking to the passing of the torch from father to son, what it means to be honorable, and the spiritual, emotional, and mental effect on heirs.

​Core topics: Family, Generational Curses

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon! About the Author Ross Victory Smile Ross Victory is a singer/songwriter turned author from Southern California. After the back to back loss of his father and brother, Ross dove into self-discovery and healing practices, which reignited his passion for writing and music production. Ross uses his unique voice and social intersections to inspire and entertain listeners and readers through Urban Adult Contemporary music, and literature, with a focus on non-fiction and thematic novelettes and short stories.

Ross Victory | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Organized By: R&RButton350x350 R&R Book Tours

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

The Sequel to Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Since I reviewed this book for Historical Novels Review, I could not post the review until now. It was actually published last year. This is a treat for Fannie Flagg fans who always wondered what happened to the characters from Whistle Stop!

REVIEW

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop is the sequel to Fannie Flagg’s novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. It is a delightful novel that jumps back and forth in different time periods between the 1930s and present day, and tells us the further adventures of Buddy Threadgoode Jr. and others. This book is not a standalone. Readers will greatly benefit from reading the first book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

This was a joy to read. It takes us back to the 1930s when Ruth Jamison and Idgie Threadgoode were running their cafe in Whistle Stop, Alabama. It shows the present day where Bud Threadgoode is an old man, and his daughter Ruthie has grown children. And it tells us tales of a younger Bud in different periods of his life. All the popular characters from the first book make an appearance. I especially enjoyed the role of Evelyn Couch in this story. As in the first book, news reports from Dot Weems pop up in between chapters, from all different time periods. It is a story of family, friends, love, and loss, and the weaving together of the time periods shows how friends and family never really leave us.

I truly feel that Fannie Flagg wrote this book for her fans, those of us who have read all of her books, as a way of tying everything together. She catches us up on all the popular characters from Fried Green Tomatoes, and I may have shrieked in delight when a character from Flagg’s other best selling series, the Elmwood Springs books, shows up in Whistle Stop!

Every little nugget and every piece of news about a beloved character felt like a gift from Fannie Flagg to her readers.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg’s career started in the fifth grade when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play, titled The Whoopee Girls, and she has not stopped since. At age nineteen she began writing and producing television specials, and later wrote for and appeared on Candid Camera. She then went on to distinguish herself as an actress and a writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the bestselling author of Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!; Standing in the Rainbow; A Redbird Christmas; Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven; I Still Dream About You; The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion; and The Whole Town’s Talking. Flagg’s script for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for an Academy Award and the Writers Guild of America Award and won the highly regarded Scripter Award for best screenplay of the year. Fannie Flagg is the winner of the Harper Lee Prize. She lives happily in California and Alabama.

BUY THE WONDER BOY OF WHISTLE STOP ON AMAZON

FANNIE FLAGG’S FACEBOOK PAGE

Telling Sonny

Faby Gauthier lives in a small town in Vermont in the 1920’s. She is bored with small town living and fascinated by Vaudeville and the showbiz life. When she meets Slim White, a dancer in a traveling Vaudeville show, she quickly gets pregnant and caught up in a marriage that happens before she knows it. We follow Faby on the Vaudeville circuit, travel with her on uncomfortable train trips, and stay with her in cheap hotels as we learn about the less glamorous side of showbiz. 

This is a beautifully written novel by Elizabeth Gaffreau that starts in small-town Vermont and takes us all over the Vaudeville circuit in the Eastern United States in the 1920’s. We learn a lot about Vaudeville life, sacrifice, and the loss of innocence. We are shown through Faby’s sister the life she could have had. We are also reminded of the priceless gift of family and the care of those who love us.

Gaffreau has an amazing ability to show us the reality of life behind the facade. For example, her descriptions of 1920’s telephone operators: “…where, inside, pale young women plugged and unplugged the telephone conversations of the village with bony fingers while they waited for someone to marry them.”

I would recommend this well-crafted novel to everyone who enjoys historical novels or anyone who wants to read a moving family story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Gauffreau holds a BA in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an MA in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Her fiction publications include short stories in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Long Story, Soundings East, Ad Hoc Monadnock, Rio Grande Review, Blueline, Slow Trains, Hospital Drive, and Serving House Journal, among others. Her poetry has appeared in The Writing On The Wall, The Larcom Review, and Natural Bridge.

Liz grew up a child of the 1960s in northern New England before spending twenty years in the South as a Navy wife. After working for Granite State College in Concord, New Hampshire for eighteen years, she recently accepted a faculty position as Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Assessment at Champlain College Online in Burlington, Vermont. In addition to academic advising, teaching, and higher education administration, her professional background includes assessment of prior experiential learning for college credit.

BUY TELLING SONNY ON AMAZON

VISIT ELIZABETH GAFFREAU’S WEBSITE

MY REVIEW ON AMAZON (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED IF YOU ARE SO INCLINED)

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

The Bird That Sang in Color

The Bird that Sang in Color is the saga of a family dealing with death, conflict, grief, alcoholism, and depression. Donna’s father is an alcoholic and she carries that into her married life to Frank, who has a problem with alcohol as well. Donna is devoted to her children and her brother Vince, a talented musician and artist. Donna has long encouraged Vince to get a “real” job, a house, and the other trappings of success, but Vince continues to go his own way. After Vince’s death, Donna finds a picture book in which Vince has drawn different scenes from his life. For Donna, this shows the truth about Vince’s life, and also about hers.

Though the beginning started out a little slowly for me, this is a fascinating story that asks tough questions. What is success really about? Who is really dead and who is really alive? What is real happiness? Do material things make you happy, and are they fitting substitutes for joy and passion? What makes you truly happy? Most importantly, this book asks the reader to look inside themselves to see their own life pictures, assess their lives, and decide what is important and what is not. And for that, it gets five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

Link to Buy The Bird That Sang in Color:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Bookbub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grace Mattioli is the author of two novels–Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees and Discovery of an Eagle, and a book of short stories, The Brightness Index. Her forthcoming novel, The Bird that Sang in Color, will be released January 17, 2021.

Her fiction is filled with unforgettable characters, artful prose, humor, and insight about what it takes to be truly happy.  She strongly believes that if people were happier, the world would be a better place.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her cats. She worked as a librarian for over twenty years and has had various other job titles, including jewelry designer, food cart owner, shopkeeper, book seller, substitute teacher, art school model, natural grocery store clerk, short order cook, food server, street vendor, barista, and a giant Twinkie! 

She has been writing creatively since she was a child and has participated in various writing workshops and classes. Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. Her favorite line of literature comes from James Joyce’s novella, The Dead:  “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

Grace Mattioli’s Website

Link to My Review on Goodreads

Neighbors

To be Released January 5, 2021

This is a great one from Danielle Steel. Meredith White, an iconic actress, has retreated from the world after her husband’s betrayal and her son’s death. She is almost completely cut off and relies on her live-in housekeepers for companionship. Then a devastating earthquake occurs and Meredith finds herself rushing out to help her neighbors. 

I really liked this one from Danielle Steel. An icon herself, she can write about a star who has that kind of fame with great understanding. She also tackles the tough subject of domestic violence in a believable way. I very much enjoyed and appreciated the theme of a recluse slowly opening up again through the act of helping others. 

There are several different storylines in this book as we see into the lives of Meredith’s neighbors. We also see into the thoughts, daily lives, and motivations of her housekeepers, and we see what you can miss if you withdraw from the world.

If you want to read a romance that tackles the issues of domestic violence, self isolation, and loss, you should check this one out. Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Buy the book on Amazon

Link to Danielle Steel’s website

Link to my Goodreads review

Upcoming and Favorite Christmas Reads

Here are some Christmas books I have on my list to read in the coming two weeks: I’ve included the book description from Goodreads. Comment your favorite or anticipated Christmas reads below.

As I am a dog owner and the parent of three dachshunds, this title got me! Here is the book description:

Pine Hollow has everything Ally Gilmore could wish for in a holiday break: gently falling snow in a charming small town and time with her family. Then she learns some Grinch has pulled the funding for her family’s rescue shelter, and now she has only four weeks to find new homes for a dozen dogs! But when she confronts her Scroogey councilman nemesis, Ally finds he’s far more reasonable — and handsome — than she ever expected.

As the guardian of his dog-obsessed ten-year-old niece, Ben West doesn’t have time to build a cuddly reputation. But he does feel guilty about the shelter closing. So he proposes a truce with Ally, agreeing to help her adopt out the pups. As the two spend more time together, the town’s gossip is spreading faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. And soon Ben is hoping he can convince Ally that Pine Hollow is her home for the holidays… and the whole year through. (less)

Link to Buy The Twelve Dogs of Christmas on Amazon.

A Regency Christmas Anthology by Susan Payne, which includes three stories.

A Regency Christmas Story 

Penelope Cooper struggled to maintain a proper place in society, but found herself a failure after hearing of her brother, Christopher’s gambling debt. As a gentleman, he must pay them immediately. If Penelope can’t convince the Marquess of Leighton to wait for his money, more than Christmas is endangered.

The Best Christmas Present 

Lord Williamsburg found something intriguing about one debutante, and after meeting her widowed mother, he understood why. Could he begin a liaison with the widow while seeking a marriage with a more appropriately aged debutante?

Sugar Plum Christmas 

Lord Hedley had discovered a sweet tooth and not just for the delicious confections furnished by Gunter’s Tea Shop. The young female bakery chef had made an impression, as well. Could she be tempted to bake for him alone?

Link to Buy A Regency Christmas on Amazon.

The Substitute Guest by Grace Livingston Hill was written sometime prior to Hill’s death in 1947. It is set in about the 1920’s and describes a life-saving adventure and an old-fashioned Christmas, which was considered old-fashioned even when she wrote it. I read this every year and would recommend it to anyone. I’m linking to the Kindle edition which came out a few years ago.

Book Description:

When Alan Monteith decides to help a friend in need by delivering a bottle of medicine to a sick woman, he never imagined being stranded in a blizzard. And he never imagined climbing a mountain on foot. But when his car breaks down in front of the Devereaux’s home, that’s just what he ends up doing. Daryl Devereaux was looking forward to a peaceful holiday until Alan Monteith arrives. As the young stranger and her brother trudge into the storm, Daryl is left to pray for their safe return, never realizing that night will change their lives forever.

Link to The Substitute Guest on Amazon

Here is a link to some Christmas reviews I’ve already done this year: Duffy the Christmassy Dragon, Christmas With The Ops Room Girls, Joy To The World, and Candy Cane Crime.

Comment below and tell me your favorite Christmas Reads!

SPOTLIGHT: Great Books on Kindle Unlimited

This is a Saturday series I’ve started where I recommend great books I’ve read on Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited members can read these books at no additional charge for a monthly fee, and there are gems out there, this book being one of them, that make it an even greater value.

FRAN, THE SECOND TIME AROUND

“Fran, the Second Time Around” by Amy L. Bernstein is the story of a young girl, just starting high school, who has switched to a new school. There are hints around the reason that Fran switched schools, and it is clear that something traumatic and horrible has happened to her. The first half of the book speaks of Fran’s new life and how she is adjusting to her new school, new friends, and “the second time around.” The second half of the book begins to peel away the layers of what happened to her and slowly reveals the devastating event.

This book was extremely well written by Amy L. Bernstein. I could see inside Fran’s world and literally feel the heartache she was experiencing. It was so real that her grief became my grief. The picture that is painted of a young girl desperately trying to stumble forward in a world that is moving along without her is so genuine and raw that I want to applaud the author for her efforts. I highly recommend this book to anyone, young adults or older, who has dealt with heartache, devastating loss, guilt, or grief, or anyone who just wants to discover a very talented author.

I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited, where it is free for all KU members. I definitely recommend you check it out.

Link to the book on Amazon

Link to the Amy L. Bernstein’s website

Link to My Goodreads Review

Duffy the Christmassy Dragon

by Kate Noble

This book is adorable! This cute, captivating, illustrated children’s book tells the delightful story of how Duffy the Dragon helped Santa and his reindeer save Christmas. The illustrations are so colorful and well done, and the story is written as a fun kid’s poem. 

Here is one of the colorful and imaginative illustrations of Duffy the Dragon.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to read it to my five-year-old grandson. You can’t get any higher praise than that.  The book can be obtained on Amazon Canada or on the Author’s website. Both links are below. I live in the US, but still had the option of purchasing it on Amazon Canada. Instead, I ordered the book from the author’s website, where she offers personalized dedications. She is also working on more Duffy books.

I received a free digital copy via Netgalley. I loved it so much I purchased a hard copy. My review is voluntary.

Link to The Author’s Duffy the Dragon website

Link to the book on Amazon Canada

Joy to the World

Oh how I love everything written by Jodi Taylor! This short story in the Frogmorton Farm series is no exception. You will laugh and cry.

There is a serious message in this short story about online predators, but there is also love, Joy, and a golden horse. Joy feels unappreciated and unloved by her father, Russell, and she feels her mother Jenny is weak and clueless. Her only friend is Tommy, a girl she met online. And that’s where the trouble starts…

I would suggest starting with the first book in this series, The Nothing Girl, so you will know the whole story of Jenny, Thomas, Russell, and more. In The Nothing Girl, Jenny is an orphaned girl who has a pronounced stutter. She lives a loveless life with her coldhearted aunt and uncle, until the arrival of a giant golden horse. This series is heartfelt and addictive. I love it so much that I want to go live at Frogmorton Farm.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, read by Lucy Price-Lewis, who does a great job, especially with the voice of Thomas.

Since I am a huge fan of Jodi Taylor’s, I also recommend you read The Chronicles of St. Mary’s, about an organization of hilarious time-traveling historians, and The Time Police, a spinoff of that. Everything Jodi Taylor writes is amazing.

Link to the story on Amazon

Link to Jodi Taylor’s Website

Link to my review on Goodreads

The Skylark’s Secret

This is one of 12 reviews I did last quarter for Historical Novels Review Magazine/Historical Novel Society website. I will be doing a feature on all of them this week.

In the late 1970s, Lexie Gordon returns home with her daughter, Daisy, to Aultbea, a small fishing village on Loch Ewe in the Scottish Highlands. She has come to live in her family’s cottage after a vocal cord injury ended her singing career in London. Embarrassed at first that the town gossipers might judge her for her lost career or single parenthood, Lexie slowly begins to reconnect with her town. She also begins to discover, through the townspeople, secrets of her family’s past.

In 1939, Flora Gordon lives with her family in the Keeper’s Cottage in Aultbea. Her father is the gamekeeper for the Laird, a surly and imposing man. Aultbea is suddenly tapped as the location for the Royal Navy’s Arctic convoys and is turned into a military base virtually overnight. At the same time, Flora finds herself falling in love with the Laird’s son.

Valpy paints a gorgeous word picture of the beauty of Scotland, both before and after the war, as well as the scars left behind in Loch Ewe when the war is over. I also enjoyed the description of everyday life in a fishing village and how that is suddenly changed by a military presence. The characters are well developed. The love between Flora and her family, and the love Lexie has for her daughter, is palpable. I was often furious at the cruel tactics of the well-crafted and despicable Laird. The town comes alive through its people and their connection to each other. This is a well written novel involving WWII fiction, Scottish history, and family dynamics with a touch of romance. 

I received a free copy from Amazon Publishing UK and Historical Novels Review Magazine via Netgalley. This appeared on The Historical Novel Society Website/Historical Novels Review Magazine.

This amazing book is available free to Kindle Unlimited members on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Skylarks-Secret-Fiona-Valpy-ebook/dp/B07X3NMHXJ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1XI4CM0CGKKUQ&dchild=1&keywords=the+skylark%27s+secret&qid=1604320819&sprefix=the+skylark%27s+%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-1

Link to the author’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Valpy/e/B005U0HXIC?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Link to my reviews on the Historical Novel Society website: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/?s=bonnie+demoss